I currently own a 2005 Chevy Tahoe and am considering trading it in for a more fuel-efficient SUV. I currently average 16.9 mpg in primarily highway driving and very minimal towing. However, I would need the new SUV to be capable of towing 4,000 pounds.
Your question is one we’re asked quite frequently. People are looking for the utility of a truck-based SUV but with better gas mileage — though 16.9 mpg in that huge `ute doesn’t seem too bad. There are a few SUVs worth checking out, some of which fall into the crossover SUV segment and offer mileage in the high teens, low twenties range, including the 2008 Toyota Highlander, 2007 GMC Acadia, 2008 Buick Enclave, 2007 GMC Acadia and 2008 Honda Pilot.
You’ll be sacrificing some towing capacity coming from a Tahoe, but towing 4,000 pounds shouldn’t be a problem if the SUV has an optional tow package. The Highlander is rated at 5,000 pounds, while the Acadia, Pilot, Outlook and Enclave are rated at 4,500 pounds; all numbers are with an optional tow package.
If you want to stay in familiar territory, there’s a more-efficient hybrid version of the Tahoe coming out before the end of the year. The rear-wheel-drive Tahoe Hybrid is estimated at 21 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway; the four-wheel-drive model is rated at 20/20. The Tahoe Hybrid has a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds, which is less than the regular Tahoe but more than the crossovers.
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